One of the challenges of right-sizing portions is meeting the expectations of guests and not compromising on their perceived value equation. Try these clever plating techniques from chefs and researchers to help support a mission of moderation.
- Experiment with plate size to create a perception of visual abundance.1
- Make use of wide rims to frame the dish.1
- Slice protein and fan pieces across plate.
- Choose elongated, thinner cuts which may make items appear larger.2
- Use sauces to create visual value around the edges of the plate, or pour sauce into a small ramekin to emphasize its presence and value.
- Create visual interest with dark or bright sauces on white plates.
- Arrange leafy vegetables to take up space on the plate.
- Instead of one large piece of protein, offer two or more smaller pieces. Multiple items tend to increase the perceived amount of food more than overall size.3
- Decrease the proportion of energy- dense items (e.g. meat, heavy sauces, starches) and increase the proportion of vegetables.
- Use firmer textures since the more time food spends in the mouth (“oralexposure”) the more it increases satiety and satisfaction.4
1 McClain, van den Bos, Matheson, Desai, McClure and Robinson, 2013
2Ordabayeva & Chandon, 2013
3David Benton, 2015, Geier et al, 2006
4Forde et al 2013